Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Discussion on playing Earthdawn. Experiences, stories, and questions related to being a player.
ChrisDDickey
Posts: 457
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by ChrisDDickey » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:34 am

Lamoron wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:40 am
If I've got three circles, and thus three spirits, can I take three strain and get all their bonus' at the same time?
I would say 'no' for two reasons.
One is that I thought it was agreed that the the spirit can only Aid you while you are in it's circle. So assuming you don't have three overlapping circles (which I would think the bone spirits would object to and fight among themselves), then you can only be in at most one bone circle at a time.

The other is that with identical bonuses and penalties usually only the greatest apples. So if you have an Aid Summoner and an Inspire Other, both apply. But if you have two entities aiding you, or two Troubadours Inspiring you, only the one who provides the greatest bonus actually aids you. If you have two bone spirits and two troubadours, only the one most successful of each.

Lamoron
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by Lamoron » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:36 pm

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:34 am
Lamoron wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:40 am
If I've got three circles, and thus three spirits, can I take three strain and get all their bonus' at the same time?
I would say 'no' for two reasons.
One is that I thought it was agreed that the the spirit can only Aid you while you are in it's circle. So assuming you don't have three overlapping circles (which I would think the bone spirits would object to and fight among themselves), then you can only be in at most one bone circle at a time.

The other is that with identical bonuses and penalties usually only the greatest apples. So if you have an Aid Summoner and an Inspire Other, both apply. But if you have two entities aiding you, or two Troubadours Inspiring you, only the one who provides the greatest bonus actually aids you. If you have two bone spirits and two troubadours, only the one most successful of each.
That's what I thought, but the three overlapping circles did look nice in my head 🙂

lanir
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:23 am

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by lanir » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:19 am

Now I want to see the Venn diagram of bony aid...

The Dread Polack
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:59 am

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by The Dread Polack » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:31 am

Doh! I came here hoping for some sort of official ruling, but alas there doesn't seem to be one.

So, here are my thoughts on the issue:

The spell description says "The bone spirit’s powers are selected when the bone circle is created", but it doesn't say the *player* gets to select the powers. I think at the very least, the GM should tell the player what the powers are when cast, otherwise why mention this in the spell description? But, I'm not sure about this. Maybe the player should be able to select powers, but how?

This isn't an actual summoning, so while the summoning rules on pg. 365 might be helpful, they don't really apply. In fact, this spirit hasn't been summoned by the caster at all, it was a wandering spirit that was "invited" into the circle. Thus, the caster might not get to select powers, and the spirit isn't obligated to do anything for the caster, such as use its powers to benefit them. In fact the spell says ".. but cannot otherwise be controlled."
Since this is a first circle spell, and not the 5th circle Summon talent, it makes sense that it wouldn't be nearly as powerful or useful.

Having said that, the spell should have some use, and I think that most of the time, the spirit is at least neutral to the caster, and willing to negotiate for some assistance. Just remember that it is "not very intelligent" and probably isn't thinking too much about the long-game.

I think Telarus best described the use of this spell and the ally spirit it summons. I would be very cautious as a GM for allowing the use of something like Aid Summoner for months at a time when a 5th circle magician using the Summon talent would normally only get use of this for hours at a time. In fact, you could argue that the spirit can't use "Aid Summoner", since the caster of the spell isn't the spirit's summoner at all. This power would work if they used the Summon talent, but not by simply using the Bone Circle spell.
Slimcreeper wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:04 am
I see that now! 1 power per 2 levels. I remember reading it when I first got the book and haven't been able to find it since.
I don't remember ever reading this, so if you can find it, let me know.

lanir
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:23 am

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by lanir » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:46 pm

The Dread Polack wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:31 am
Doh! I came here hoping for some sort of official ruling, but alas there doesn't seem to be one.
The reply by Mataxes on the first page of this thread is probably what you're looking for.
The Dread Polack wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:31 am
Slimcreeper wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:04 am
I see that now! 1 power per 2 levels. I remember reading it when I first got the book and haven't been able to find it since.
I don't remember ever reading this, so if you can find it, let me know.
I mentioned this on the first page:

A guideline on numbers of powers per strength rating is mentioned early in the Spirit Descriptions heading on p375 of the Game Master's Guide.

The Dread Polack
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:59 am

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by The Dread Polack » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:42 am

lanir wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:46 pm
The reply by Mataxes on the first page of this thread is probably what you're looking for.
Wow, I can't believe I missed that. Thanks!
lanir wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:46 pm
I mentioned this on the first page:

A guideline on numbers of powers per strength rating is mentioned early in the Spirit Descriptions heading on p375 of the Game Master's Guide.
Great, thanks again! It was clearly too late, and I was too sleep deprived.

I think I have a pretty solid idea of how to handle this now.

TheOracle
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:40 am

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by TheOracle » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:40 am

Mataxes wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:28 pm
Lamoron wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:37 pm
Can you give me a page reference on that, as I don't remember seeing that anywhere so maybe that chapter will enlighten me on other things (the layout of these books... sheesh).
There are a couple things he's likely referring to:

Pg 365 of the Player's Guide (On Spirits):
"Tasked Spirits are simple spirits with capabilities limited to a certain task. They are usually summoned by spells such as Summon Fog Ghost or talents such as Orbiting Spy, and their summoning and other related rules are governed by the rules for the spell or talent."

Pg 365 of the Gamemaster's Guide (On Tasked Spirits):
"Many students of the astral realms think of a third category of spirit: the tasked spirit. Unlike more free-willed elemental and ally spirits, a tasked spirit is one brought into our world through the use of a spell or magical talent for a particular purpose, for example, the ‘orbiting spy’ used by Nethermancers and Scouts."

---

All that said, the Bone Circle spell specifically says the Bone Spirit is "an ally spirit" so it should follow those rules (as indicated by the spell). Given the spell's purpose, I would allow the caster to select the Bone Spirit's powers*, but the spell also imposes limitations (for example, the "cannot leave the circle" restriction), which makes it behave like a tasked spirit in some ways.

(* Note the Bone Spirit description on page 377 of the GM Guide: "The list of suggested powers includes all available selections when a bone spirit is summoned through the Bone Circle spell (Player’s Guide, p. 318). This list supersedes the list provided in the spell description." So you actually have more powers to choose from than the list given in the spell.)

Because of the restriction on leaving the Bone Circle, I would rule that if the spirit has the Aid Summoner power, it can only use the power while the Nethermancer is in the Bone Circle. If the Nethermancer leaves the Circle, the power ends.
Where in the rule text of the Bone Circle spell does it actually say, that the Bone Spirit uses its powers, in this case Aid Summoner, on behalf of the Nethermancer? It was always my impression, that there was no way of controlling the spirit besides talent use against it and summoning it using the "Summon Bone Spirit" spell.

Lamoron
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by Lamoron » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:58 am

I don't think it's stated anywhere that it will use it's powers for the summoner, but if it doesn't then the spell does nothing except act as a spell tax limitation on later spells, or a really poor guard that won't do anything either (if GM wants to rob your house he will).

The spell does say it summons an ally spirit though, so it would be reasonable for it to follow the favors rules for actual ally spirits. We play it like that, and at Circle 3 (almost 4) I have yet to actually summon it, because it's already absurdly limited.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 687
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: Bone Circle / Bone Spirit - Aid Summoner

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:47 pm

Ally spirits can definitely speak Throalic, if desired, and negotiate just like any other NPC.

“Will you Aid me in casting spells and further my plans of world domination?”

“Yes – but it will cost you! It will cost you five shiny buttons and one entire chocolate cake! Hahaha!”

Post Reply